We have finally done it! Since we have lived in our home here in PA there has been an area in our backyard that has been at best, sorta moist, at worst, a swamp. This has interfered with using our yard to its full potential since it is right in the middle of the flat, clear area where we had envisioned a volleyball net and other backyard games. (Not to mention the nuisance of having to pull the lawn tractor out of axle-deep mud when we get too confident and try to mow it…) Since he has the time now, Jim rented the equipment that he needed to excavate a couple of drainage ditches to redirect the watershed from the hill. Gravel was ordered—44 tons of gravel—which was deposited in the driveway. Pipes and connectors were also delivered. Then came the machines; a backhoe for the first day, then, when that proved insufficient for the job, a larger "excavator" and a Dingo to haul the gravel and dirt. The anticipated two days turned into a week, and the kids and I joined Jim in turning the yard inside out.
The work was exhausting, overwhelming, and dirty. Just about every plan for the week was pushed aside in order to finish the yard. Our house developed a dirt floor. And every bit of the effort, exhaustion and dirt was worth it. Before we finished pushing the dirt back into the first ditch the wet spot was drying up. Now the entire lower yard has a new layer of dirt raked across it, (it had to go somewhere!) and is seeded for new grass and covered in straw. The rain and the sprinkler have been moistening the seed and in three weeks we hope to see an even blanket of new baby grass sprouting across the 4000 square feet of the future site of our lawn games!